Hundred Flowers, 1970 (continued) 

Ed Felien and Warren Hanson, two of the co-founders of Hundred Flowers newspaperBY ED FELIEN

The cover on our next issue was a cartoon of James Binger wringing dollars out of an anti-personnel bomb with pennies dropping down to a worker in the Honeywell plant.  It was a promotion for a demonstration against Honeywell.  That was what we did best, led cheers for the revolution.  The cartoon was by Chuck Logan, a Vietnam Vet who is now a well-known mystery writer.  He did another cartoon for us that we made into a poster centerfold: two Vietnamese soldiers poking at a large inflated tiger saying, “Hey, it’s not paper, it’s plastic”—a takeoff on Mao’s famous dictum: Imperialism is a paper tiger.
Chuck’s career as a cartoonist for us came to an end in a kind of scandal on the left.  He submitted a cartoon that he thought was the funniest he had done.  It was two hippies rolling a joint sitting in the middle of a room as a 12-foot breast crashes through the wall; the caption: “Cool it.  It’s a bust.”  I told him I didn’t think it was that funny and we’d probably get in a lot of trouble.  He said it was great and I had to print it or he’d never do another one.  The woman he was with at the time, a well-known feminist, agreed with Chuck and thought we should print it.  We printed it.  A women’s group descended on the offices.  They demanded that we ink out the offending cartoon on all the issues.  Brian Coyle, who supported the feminists, agreed and bought inkpads and rollers and set to work inking them out.  He got through a couple of hundred before he got tired and quit.  The next night I went to a musical event at the Cedar Theater and told the audience about our problem.  I said “We’ve always thought of Hundred Flowers as a community newspaper, so we’re asking you to help us.  Please take one of the copies of the paper and ink out the offending cartoon when you get home.”
There were marches from Loring Park to the State Capitol to protest the war, and one week there was so much happening we had to divide the front cover into sections to promote a student strike at the U of M, Lazy Bill Lucus playing piano, and a sit-in at buildings that were going to be torn down to make way for a Red Barn fast food restaurant.  The centerfold the next week was among our most popular—a car crashed through the front of the existing Red Barn on the other side of campus.  It was the kind of wild and crazy action that, although we couldn’t endorse it, we not-so-secretly admired.
The peace movement in the ’60s and early ’70s soon got taken over by the Socialist Workers Party, a Trotskyist group.  Most people were OK with that.  The SWP was doing the organizing and doing the publicity, so they should be able to pick the speakers and use it to try to recruit.  We used to call their peace marches “Trot Marches” because they always started at Loring Park and marched in quick step time to the State Capitol.  They were always very well mannered, and they got parade permits from the police.  The SWP didn’t want to offend ordinary people.  Some people in SDS wanted something a little more heavy.  They were looking to offend.
At about this time, in the middle of summer, two buses pulled up in front of our house.  One, a school bus, was filled with old friends from the Eater House who were on their way to a farm commune in Oregon.  We had three toilets in the house, so it wasn’t much of a problem.  They were reconditioning the bus to be a live-in trailer home for about 12.  They tore out the seats to make room for beds.  We used the seats for cushions around a tabletop on bricks that we used for our dining room table.  The other bus was a retrofitted Greyhound that contained the traveling Hog Farm and Wavy Gravy.
Hugh Romney, or Wavy Gravy, was famous for organizing the free food distribution at Woodstock:  “We’ve got free food.  And we’re going to get it to you.  We’re all going to do this together.  We’re going to feed each other.  We must be in heaven.”  His wife was Bonnie Beecher.  I’d know her when she and I were undergraduates in theater at the university.  She was in a sorority, and she lined me up with one of her sorority sisters, Judy Olson, Miss Minnesota 1957—very beautiful, but we didn’t have a lot to talk about.  Bonnie was going out with a folk singer who had just changed his name to Bob Dylan.  I asked her, when I saw her that summer, if “Girl from the North Country” was written about her.  She said it was.  But then, probably at least a dozen girls in Minnesota also thought the song was written about them.
Back to the SDS demonstration:  There must have been between 300 and 500 peaceniks, SDSers and assorted anarchists assembled at the Minneapolis Auditorium.  I brought Wavy Gravy along for the cultural experience.  We didn’t get permits.  We were going to march down Nicollet Avenue from the Auditorium at one end to City Hall at the other, disrupting traffic.  We took off and people along the way were very sympathetic.  By the time we got to City Hall there were still about 200 hard-core crazed fanatics.  We surrounded the flagpole, pulled down the American flag and ran up a flag for the Viet Cong.  Demonstration done, we started to walk away.  I saw an officer I knew (we’d acted in a play together about 15 years before).  I said, Hi.  We talked for a bit.  Another officer came by and kicked me.  I said, “Pat, did you see that?”  He said, “What?”  And I could see the divide between us and the police.

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